AC Schnitzer unveils BMW i8 styling package

German tuner turns its attention to BMW’s plug-in hybrid sports car

BMW’s i8 might not be the best high-performance sports car on sale today – that honour still falls to the Porsche 911 and the new Mercedes-AMG GT – but few can compete with its head-turning looks.

The task of improving the car’s aesthetics isn’t one to be taken lightly, but renowned BMW tuner AC Schnitzer has unveiled its own take on the car’s futuristic styling with a new styling package.

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ACS says its styling tweaks make the innovative design features of the i8 even more pronounced, though the program breaks no new ground conceptually – the i8 by AC Schnitzer follows the same wheels, bodykit and interior alteration checklist of dozens of other aftermarket tuning programs.

The i8 certainly takes on a new personality with Schnitzer’s alterations. Most notable are the wider 8.5J x 21in front and 9.5J x 21in rear forged alloy wheels, wrapped in 245/35 R21 front tyres and 285/30 R21 tyres at the rear. Those should address one of the i8’s current criticisms – that of low levels of outright grip. They’re lighter than the standard wheels too, despite the extra girth.

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Stance is further improved by lowered suspension, cutting 25mm from the front ride height and 20mm at the rear. Deeper carbon side skirts, a new carbon front spoiler element and carbon rear spoiler lend further visual aggression to the i8’s shark-like demeanour. More subtle but aesthetically significant is the colour-coding of certain parts, which adds visual weight (and a degree of normality) to the i8’s striking side profile.

AC Schnitzer hasn’t released any photos of the interior alterations, but cabin improvements include an aluminium footrest and pedals, and velour floor mats.

The i8's powertrain, on the other hand, has been left well alone. As such, performance should be similar to the existing car's 4.4-second 0-62mph run and electronically limited 155mph top speed. Likewise, those fitting Schnitzer's components should still attain twenty or so miles of pure electric range.

Of course, Schnitzer is known for far more than just styling packages, having worked its mechanical magic on numerous other BMWs past and present - from a 502bhp take on the current BMW M4 to an eco-minded, 171bhp diesel 1-series. There's surely more to come from the i8's potent hybrid drivetrain.

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